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As We Live and Breathe!

A recent article in Reuters discusses how obese individuals often have breathing difficulties due to fatty tissue in the chest and abdomen obstructing airways. However, patients in a study who underwent bariatric surgery and successfully lost weight removed or at least reduced excess pressure on their lungs, making it easier to breathe – no small matter for overall health. The findings only add to an increasingly huge list of extremely well documented bariatric surgery benefits.

Severe obesity is not only unhealthy and often damaging to self-esteem, but it can also be physically debilitating, relegating many individuals to a sedentary lifestyle that further exacerbates their weight problem. The problem for many obese individuals is that, no matter how well patients understand the dangers of obesity and no matter how much they may sincerely want to look and feel better, losing weight without assistance can be incredibly difficult – and permanently defeating obesity is next to impossible for most people.

The exact mechanisms behind the grim statistics on attempts at long-term weight loss are not fully understood but hormones do appear to be the crux of the problem. Overweight and obese people are believed to produce a great deal more of a hormone known as ghrelin when compared to thinner individuals. The problem becomes compounded because, as the body senses weight loss, it produces even more hunger hormones to get us to eat more and regain our lost weight – all because our bodies were made to endure in a world where famine and starvation were a constant risk, instead of an environment like ours, where high-calorie foods are cheap and constantly available. No wonder then that even people with the enormous will power needed to achieve their ideal weight typically regain lost weight within a distressingly short time period.


The reason weight loss surgery is effective is that it gets at the core of the problem: appetite. Procedures like a sleeve gastrectomy can actually operate on two levels. The first goal of weight loss surgery is to limit the size of a patient’s stomach. This can make it uncomfortable or even painful to consume large amounts of food and can sometimes induce a condition called dumping syndrome, which is every bit as unpleasant as it sounds. These concerns can definitely help train the patient’s mind to desire food less. The second function, the medical group continues, is that some procedures significantly reduce the production of the aforementioned hunger hormone, so patients may have little or no interest in overeating in the first place. While bariatric patients still have to do the work of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, permanently defeating obesity becomes vastly more achievable when urges to eat excessively are reduced or quieted completely.

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